How Serious Is Meningioma?

March 12, 2024 0

In the realm of brain tumors, meningiomas stand out for their prevalence and potential impact on health. These tumors, which arise from the meninges, the protective layers covering the brain and spinal cord, are among the most commonly diagnosed primary brain tumors globally. 

Statistics show that meningiomas account for nearly 37.6% of all primary central nervous system tumors. But what makes meningiomas serious? How do they develop, and what are the risk factors? Delve into the details to uncover the significance of meningiomas and understand why they require careful consideration.

What Is Meningioma, and How Does It Form?

Meningioma is a slow-growing tumor from the meninges, the protective layers covering the brain and spinal cord. These tumors are typically non-cancerous but can cause symptoms depending on their size and location. 

Meningiomas are thought to develop from abnormal growth of arachnoid cells in the meninges. The exact cause of this abnormal growth is not fully understood, but factors like age, genetics, and hormonal changes may play a role.

Dr. Vikas Gupta, a renowned neurosurgeon, specializes in treating Meningioma. He offers personalized treatment plans for each patient with his expertise and advanced surgical skills. He is dedicated to providing compassionate care and ensuring the best possible outcomes for individuals with Meningioma.

What Are Its Risk Factors?

The risk factors for meningiomas include:

  • Age: Risk increases with age, peaking after 65 years, while children aged 0-14 are at the lowest risk.
  • Ethnicity: African Americans have higher rates of meningioma than other ethnic groups in the U.S.
  • Ionizing Radiation: High doses, as well as low doses (e.g., dental X-rays), are associated with increased risk.
  • Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2): Genetic disorder increases the risk.
  • Hormones: Studies suggest a correlation, especially in women, with factors such as estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors.
  • Obesity: Several extensive studies indicate a possible relationship between obesity and meningioma incidence.

“The risk factors highlight the multifactorial nature of meningioma development, with age, ethnicity, radiation exposure, genetic predisposition, hormonal influences, and obesity all playing potential roles. Understanding these factors can help identify individuals at higher risk and implement preventive strategies where possible,” says Dr Vikas Gupta.

What Are The Symptoms?

As meningiomas are slow-growing tumors, they often do not cause noticeable symptoms until they are large. Some meningiomas may remain asymptomatic for a patient’s lifetime or be detected unexpectedly when a patient has a brain scan for unrelated symptoms. Presenting signs and symptoms depend on the size and location of the tumor. Symptoms of meningiomas may include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Change in personality or behavior
  • Progressive focal neurologic deficit
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Hearing loss or ringing in the ears
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Visual disorders

Symptoms can be related more specifically to the location of the meningioma. Examples include:

  • Falx and Parasagittal: Impaired brain functioning levels, such as reasoning and memory. If located in the middle section, it would likely cause leg weakness/numbness or seizures.
  • Convexity: This may cause seizures, headaches, and neurological deficits.
  • Sphenoid: Vision problems, loss of sensation in the face or facial numbness, and seizures.
  • Olfactory Groove: Loss of smell due to compression of the nerves between the brain and the nose. If the tumor grows large enough, vision problems may occur due to compression of the optic nerve.
  • Suprasellar: Vision problems due to compression of the optic nerves/chiasm.
  • Posterior Fossa: Facial symptoms or loss of hearing due to compression of cranial nerves, unsteady gait, and problems with coordination.
  • Intraventricular: This may block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, resulting in obstructive hydrocephalus, potentially leading to headaches, lightheadedness, and changes in mental function.
  • Intraorbital: Buildup of pressure in the eyes, leading to a bulging appearance and potential vision loss.
  • Spinal: Back pain or limb pain caused by nerve compression that runs into the spinal cord.

How Can It Be Diagnosed?

Diagnosing meningiomas can be challenging due to their slow growth and symptoms that mimic typical signs of aging or other conditions. However, a thorough neurological evaluation is crucial when symptoms like mental dysfunction, seizures, or persistent headaches arise. 

Radiological studies, such as CT or MRI scans, help diagnose with intraoperative MRI used during surgery. In some cases, a biopsy is necessary for a definitive diagnosis, allowing doctors to determine the tumor’s nature and grade for an appropriate treatment plan.

What Are The Available Treatment Options For Meningiomas?

Here are the available treatment options for meningiomas:

  • Surgery: Complete surgical removal offers the best chance for a cure, aiming to remove the tumor entirely along with its attachments to the brain and bone. However, risks are significant, especially if the cancer has invaded surrounding tissues. In some cases, leaving part of the tumor and monitoring its growth with regular imaging studies may be a safer approach, especially for patients at high risk from surgery.
  • Observation: For patients with few symptoms or slow-progressing tumors, observation over time may be appropriate, especially in older patients or those for whom treatment carries significant risks. Regular examinations and MRIs are used to monitor the tumor’s growth and assess the need for further intervention.
  • Radiation Therapy: High-energy X-rays kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It may be an option when surgery is not feasible. Different techniques are available, including external beam radiotherapy, proton therapy, and stereotactic radiosurgery, each with advantages and disadvantages.
  • Chemotherapy: Rarely used, except for atypical or malignant meningiomas that cannot be effectively treated with surgery or radiation therapy.

Dr. Vikas emphasizes, “The treatment options are tailored to each patient based on factors like tumor size, location, and overall health, aiming to preserve neurological functions and improve quality of life.”

One happy patient shared, “I was diagnosed with a meningioma after experiencing persistent headaches and vision problems. The news was scary, but my doctor explained everything clearly and recommended treatment options. After surgery to remove the tumor, I feel like a new person. I’m grateful for the care and support I received throughout this journey.”

Another patient expressed, “I never thought I’d be facing a brain tumor, but when I was diagnosed with a meningioma, my world turned upside down. However, thanks to the expertise of my medical team and the support of my family, I underwent successful treatment. Today, I’m living my life to the fullest, grateful for each day and the opportunity to share my story to inspire others facing similar challenges.”

What Is The Cost Of Treating Meningioma In India?

On average, the cost of treating Meningioma in India can range from INR 1,50,000 to INR 5,00,000 or more for surgery and from INR 1,00,000 to INR 3,00,000 for radiation therapy. In USD, this would be approximately $2,000 to $7,000 for surgery and $1,500 to $4,000 for radiation therapy. The cost can vary widely depending on factors such as the hospital, the doctor’s fees, the type of treatment required (surgery, radiation therapy, etc.), and the patient’s overall health. 


Meningiomas are serious tumors that can have significant impacts on a person’s health and quality of life. While many meningiomas are benign, they can still cause symptoms and complications due to their location and growth. Understanding the risk factors, symptoms, and available treatment options is crucial for managing meningiomas effectively. Early detection and appropriate treatment can improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals affected by this condition.


  1. Can meningiomas be prevented?

There is no known way to prevent meningiomas, but understanding the risk factors can help identify individuals at higher risk.

  1. Are all meningiomas cancerous?

No, most meningiomas are benign, but some can be malignant (cancerous).

  1. How are meningiomas different from other brain tumors?

Meningiomas arise from the meninges, the layers of tissue covering the brain and spinal cord, while other brain tumors originate from brain tissue.

  1. What are the chances of meningiomas recurring after treatment?

The chances of recurrence depend on various factors, including the type and grade of the tumor and the extent of surgical removal.

  1. Can meningiomas cause permanent damage?

Meningiomas can cause permanent damage if they compress critical brain structures, leading to neurological deficits.

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